BOOK REVIEW: This Census – Taker (2016) by China Mieville (Picador)



Award winning author, China Mieville’s novella – This Census – Taker is perhaps in line to be one of the books of the year. Written in both the first and third person narrative, it brings to life the experiences of a lonely boy from a dysfunctional home who longs to escape life in the hills in order to be closer to the other children who live below him.

Surrounded by nature and animals, Mieville’s descriptions of the landscape are beautifully vivid and alarming at the same time, cleverely challenging and appealing to all the senses.

The Census Taker himself makes an appearance towards the latter stages of the book, appearing to offer hope to a boy seemingly in despair having witnessed some strange and traumatic incidents which impact upon his memory and identity.

The novella is one which should be read  at least twice in order to fully appreciate the meaning of the story along with the beautiful language and descriptions employed which go some way in keeping the reader fully engaged.

It is a really well written and interesting book which although short in length does include some language which defamiliarises and challenges the reader which consequently impress upon the mind for a long time.

(C) Copyright 2016, Darell J Philip